Not Sure Which Fitness Band to Buy? Rent Instead

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Lumoid

You’ve read the reviews, talked to friends, maybe even ventured all the way out to your local Best Buy to see them in person. But until you actually try a fitness band — until you live with it for a day or two (or seven) — there’s really no way to know if you’re going to like it.

So what are you supposed to do? Buy one and hope for the best? If that doesn’t sound too appealing, check out Lumoid.

This new service offers an intriguing proposition: You can choose five wearables to try at home for one week. If you like one, you can pay for it, keep it, and send the others back. If you don’t like any of them, you send all five back and pay $20.

Lumoid - Pebble

Lumoid’s selection is divided into three main categories: Sleep-tracking devices, fitness devices, and “stay connected.” This last includes the two products I consider standouts among wrist companions: the Basis Peak and Pebble smartwatch. But you’ll also find such well-known “handidates” (oh, come on, that’s pretty good) as the Jawbone Up24, Fitbit Flex, and Garmin Vivofit.

What I especially like about this arrangement is that if you decide to keep one of the products, you won’t pay an inflated price for it. The Pebble smartwatch, for example? Lumoid charges $99.99, the same price you’d pay at, say, Best Buy. You won’t get any discounts, obviously, but at least you know you’re getting a fair deal.

Interestingly, Lumoid also offers try-before-you-buy photo and camera gear — including drones! But here it’s more of a straight-up rental offering, the idea being that you might want to rent, say, a fancy camera for the weekend of a wedding. Or a lighting kit for a selfie family portrait.

In any case, I love the idea of being able to test-drive a bunch of wearables before making a purchase decision. (If that sounds familiar, you might be thinking of Warby Parker, which sends you five sets of eyeglass frames to try.) My only complaint is that a week might not be long enough to really get to know all five of them.

Photo credit: Lumoid

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